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The Impact of Preferences on Early Warning Systems - The Case of the European Commission's Scoreboard
European Journal of Political Economy,
The European Commission’s Scoreboard of Macroeconomic Imbalances is a rare case of a publicly released early warning system. It allows the preferences of the politicians involved to be analysed with regard to the two potential errors of an early warning system – missing a crisis and issuing a false alarm. These preferences might differ with the institutional setting. Such an analysis is done for the first time in this article for early warning systems in general by using a standard signals approach, including a preference-based optimisation approach, to set thresholds. It is shown that, in general, the thresholds of the Commission’s Scoreboard are set low (resulting in more alarm signals), as compared to a neutral stand. Based on political economy considerations the result could have been expected.
Modelling Macroeconomic Risk: The Genesis of the European Debt Crisis
Diverging European sovereign bond yields after 2008 are the most visible sign of the European debt crisis. This dissertation examines in a first step, to which extent the development of yields is driven by credit and liquidity risk, and how it is influenced by general uncertainty on financial markets. It can be shown that yields are driven to a significant degree by a flight towards bonds of high liquidity in times of high market uncertainty. In a second step, high yields are interpreted as a sign of an existing crisis in the respective country. Using the signals approach, the early-warning capabilities of four different proposals for the design of the scoreboard as part of the “Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure” (introduced in December 2011 by the European Commission) are tested, advocating a scoreboard including a variety of many different indicators. In a third step, the methodology of the signals approach is extended to include also results on significance.
The European Commission’s Scoreboard of Macroeconomic Imbalances – The impact of preferences on an early warning system